Someone, and I can’t remember who right now, once said to me they thought it takes about three years to settle into living somewhere. Three years to work out some of the kinks, establish some favorite haunts, orient oneself with its landscape and features, make new friends, and ultimately, become acclimated enough to start calling it “home.”
Now, college doesn’t quite follow the same rules. I went school out of state in Oklahoma City, and by the end of my sophomore year, OKC already felt like my second home. I had put down enough “roots” to feel about as comfortable there as I did in my Missouri hometown. And if I went back to OKC now, I would probably settle right back in fairly easily even though it is a rapidly changing and growing city, which thrills me; though I DO wish some of that growth had happened during the four years I spent there.
Ah well. C’est la vie. Oh, and THUNDER UP.
ANYWAY, the point is this past Saturday, the 13th, marked my three year anniversary of moving to New York. Usually, my yearly moving anniversaries have been plagued by tumult in some way, always spurring changes in my life. Last year around this time, I had just been slapped by a dramatic confrontation with my previous roommates and the nightmare of having to find a new apartment in an incredibly brief amount of time. It set me off on a collision course with other problems both financial (Hello overdrawn bank account, we meet again!) and personal (Goodbye boyfriend who won’t commit!) over the next several months, which were tough to shake off, leaving me depressed in all senses of the word (monetary and emotionally) well into 2014. My third year in the Big Apple, which should have signaled my “settling,” was, well, rather unsettling on the whole.
BUT, when my third year here was good, it was REALLY good. Like getting to go to an opening night party for a Broadway show and getting to work that same show’s TONY Awards party. Or joining a new church and making some of the best friends I’ve had. And I would be remiss without mentioning my many, many bike rides around the five boroughs, which has kept me saner than almost anything other than writing. Sometime a little more than midway through my third year, the “settling” actually began to happen. Money worked itself out. A lot of the personal hurt vanished. It felt as though a giant weight had lifted. Suddenly, I was very much enjoying this City instead of feeling as though I was being hurtled around inside of it.
My third anniversary this past Saturday was decidedly unceremonious. I spent the morning riding my bicycle, Elliott, over the Queensboro Bridge (which is a bitch of a steady incline, though it’s getting easier the more often I do it), down Second Avenue, across SoHo and the West Village, and then back up Eighth Avenue to Times Square. Then I went home, showered, went grocery shopping, made my first pumpkin-flavored dessert of the season, watched Doctor Who, and went to bed. So, all in all, it was a fairly ordinary Saturday, not unlike most of my Saturdays in recent months.
Ordinary. Standard. Settled.
Some people want to start things with a bang. In this case, I’m perfectly fine with a whimper as I glide into my fourth year in New York City. I don’t know if ALL the kinks have been worked out, but this place really IS starting to feel something like “home.” I have an ever-growing list of favorite haunts, I know how to get basically anywhere within the five boroughs without much consultation of my MTA maps, and I’ve certainly accumulated an abundance of great friends old and new. I don’t expect everything to be smooth sailing, because this place always catches you off guard, but I DO expect SMOOTHER sailing henceforth. I have most definitely earned it.